Russia wants to intensify intermodal services to Central Asia

2021/10/13 at 8:42 AM

RZD Logistics, a dedicated division of the Russian Railways, is planning to develop intermodal transport to the countries of Central Asia. One of the priority areas is the launch of a container train from Russia to Uzbekistan which will move agricultural products. The new service is expected to be launched before the year’s end.

Logistic companies of Russia and Kazakhstan have teamed up to increase the volume of export cargo transportation to the third countries. RZD Logistics and KTZ Express discussed the possibility of launching a new container train on the Russia – Kazakhstan – China and Russia – Kazakhstan – Uzbekistan routes, as well as the establishment of the first/last mile service in Russia/Kazakhstan to provide a comprehensive service to exporting companies. It is planned that the new train will be launched within the framework of the Agroexpress project which RZD Logistics has been successfully developing for two years.

Illustrative picture. Container train from Russia to China, source: RZD Logistics

Possible routes

It should be noted that in June this year, RZD Logistics signed a cooperation agreement with Uzagrologistics Centers, a specialised logistics provider from Uzbekistan, on the development of intermodal transport between the two countries. Among other things, the companies agreed to transport agro-industrial complex goods for export by accelerated refrigerated container agroexpresses.

The parties also identified possible routes for the new train. First of all, this is about the link between the two capitals, Moscow and Tashkent. It is planned to use the Selyatino station (not far from Moscow) for sending agroexpresses to Chukursay and Sergeli (on the outskirts of Tashkent). As intermodal transport is developing, both companies consider launching similar container trains to other destinations.


RZD Logistics in cooperation with the Russian Export Centre launched the Agroexpress project in autumn 2019. This intermodal service is aimed at developing the export of Russian agricultural products and their transport to China by rail. The first train was sent in September 2019 from the Vorsino station to Tianjin through Mongolia.

Regular express container trains with a fixed schedule allow the exporting companies to reduce the delivery time of food cargo, also reduce transport costs thanks to an established chain and the possibility of obtaining subsidies from the Russian Export Centre. Now the agroexpress trains run from Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk to many cities in China, including Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Suzhou, Qingdao, Harbin, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Dalian.

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